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SSD product review: Intel, OCZ, Samsung, Silicon Power, SuperTalent
by Marc Prieur
Published on October 6, 2008

IOMeter is used to simulate the load in a multi-user environment by using a server type file load comprised of 80% reading and 20% writing all in a 100% random manner on the drive. In this type of situation, NCQ can be particularly useful because of multiple concurrent commands. In this test, we measured performances expressed in inputs/outputs per second (IO/s) with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 simultaneous commands. Of course, with a single command NCQ has no effect.

Of course SSDs and even less so MLC SSDs, are not designed to make good file servers. Nevertheless such a fundamentally random workload does give insight into the performance of these drives. For reasons of scale, the Intel SSD scores are given separately.

The first thing that we notice is the dip in SuperTalent MX performance. Although strong with simultaneous commands, it collapses when more is asked of it, though it does remain superior to the Samsung SpinPoint F1. The SuperTalent DX is stable whatever the number of commands. The OCZ and Silicon Power SSDs score horribly on this test, whatever the number of commands. The unreliability of these models when it comes to writing really does devalue them. The Samsung SSD is very comfortable here and is not matched by the VelociRaptor, even with the help of NCQ.

The Intel SSD is in another world, with at one point over 12,000 I/O per second, that is 16 times better than any other MLC SSD. Performances are nevertheless very variable a) between the first and second execution of the test and b) when the test is carried out after having used the SSD for all the other tests in the comparison. Nevertheless, performances are in any case very good.

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